by FP Staff Feb 12, 2014 12:04 IST
Railway stocks were trading flat ahead of railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge's budget speech.
Kharge is likely to announce new trains and some measures for providing better amenities at stations and trains besides steps to strengthen safety for passengers.
Shares of Kalindee Rail Nirman (Engineers), Texmaco Rail and Engineering , Kernex Microsystems (India) , Titagarh Wagons jumped 2-4 percent this morning.
However, Titagarh Wagons ’ vice-chairman Umesh Choudhary does not expect path-breaking announcements from the Interim Railway Budget.
In an interview with CNBC-TV18, he said “We are hoping to see some initiatives towards the projects that have already been announced… big-ticket projects like the dedicated freight corridor, although we have seen some momentum, but they need to be implemented in a more time-bound fashion."
He thinks that there’s a little possibility of reducing passenger rail fares, but feels that Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge may introduce variable passenger component.
He said the industry would definitely like to see some announcements aimed towards the growth of railway traffic.
He further said the industry is hoping that no new factories are being set since the existing capacities are already languishing.
"But overall, I do not expect that there are going to be path-breaking announcements that are likely to be an interim budget as we have seen in most of the election years over the last few decades."
Since Lok Sabha elections are round the corner, there are demands from many zones and MPs for new trains. Kharge has conceded some demands and as a result survey of new lines, extension and increase of certain train service are also likely to be announced in the vote-on-account statement.
The vote-on-account is likely to mention the expeditious work on coaching complex for maintenance facility at Gulberga. Kharge is expected to focus on more passenger-friendly measures like installation of upgraded real-time train information system at stations and operation of automatic ticket vending machines at many stations.
While the working expenses have gone up by about Rs 5,000 crore during April-December period, the revenue earnings have decreased by over Rs 3,000 crore.
Though Railways have set a target of reaching at 38 percent of total cargo traffic in the 12th Plan, the cargo share of railways is expected to fall by two to three percent this year.
With inputs from PTI
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